Thursday, August 29, 2013

Staten Island Hardcore Documentary Showcases Music History (Interview with City Lights Films)

Why do you guys feel this was a movie that had to be made?
Sam and myself grew up in Staten Island, went to Staten Island shows, and  played in Staten Island bands. It is something that played a huge part  in our lives and continues to do so today. Memories fade, and we wanted to preserve the history and let people know what went on here, especially in the 1980s and 1990s.

How big would you say the punk scene was on the Island, and what was different for local music in it's heyday?
The hardcore punk scene "back in the day" was huge.  It was something to look forward to on your weekends after a long week of school. Flyers were passed around in school during the week, and on the weekends at the Staten Island Mall. Bands promoted, it wasn't just a social media Facebook event invite. You were almost certain you would have a decent crowd at a show where the crowd would stay for all of the bands playing, regardless of who was in the band or what type of musical genre they fell under, whether it be rock, metal, hardcore or punk.

What's something everyone will learn from watching the film?
Hopefully people get a good history lesson. We have learned, from filming this documentary that a large chunk of the current show goers and bands do not have an idea about any history or where their roots came from. They learned about their music from Facebook and Myspace. They found an underground mainstream band that their friend hit the like button on, and they decided to emulate it.

What surprised you the most about making this film?
We were surprised to get contacted from people out of the wood work. We have received our own history lesson just from digging up information on Staten Island and the music that was played out here, the beginning of punk and hardcore in this area. Little stories and urban legends, that made us realize we were dealing with something that was huge. For example, we had no idea that Metallica actually hung out on Staten Island for a few days, and that Kirk Hammet dated someone from here who went to shows and local concerts in the 80s. We didn't believe it until we received a photo showing the band with local Staten Islanders.

What are the pros and cons of making an indie film?
The pros of making a film is the rewarding experience, knowing you accomplished something great, and the excitement of knowing people will be watching something you created. The cons on the other hand, is the high cost of equipment, the time you put into the film and the lack of support because you aren't a "big time film maker."

Do you guys have a background in music yourselves, and tell me about it?
We have both played in many bands growing up, Sam since the age of 12, and myself since the age of 16 – some local bands, some non local bands. Sam has played in some well known S.I. bands such as Big Wheel, Indifference and Murdock, and I played in some local bands, my favorites being Dreams Forever Drowning, and my current band, Ruthless Dudes.

What's the difference between yesterday's punk and today's punk?
Yesterday's punk was all about hating authority, and doing things yourself. Today's punk is about going to Hot Topic, social media and how many Facebook friends you have.

Do you feel the music scene is lacking unity, or is it in a good place as far as people working together?
I try to get to as many shows as I can, but due to work, school and film projects, I really only get to go when my band is playing, or if I am on a special project related to a Staten Island band. I don't see the unity like I did when I was much younger, it seems like more of a popularity contest or who wants to fight who.  It is sad. Not saying that all is lost, I still see many young people that remind me of myself when I was going to shows as a teenager.

What other projects have you guys worked on, and/or hope to make?
We have done music videos for the Staten Island band's A Wake In Providence and Deception Theory, and we have some more music videos in the future that we are working on. We also will be starting another film when we complete this one, to which the script is in the works.

Anything else to add?
We just want people to take the time out to check out our trailer, pass it along and tell a friend. Making a film is hard work and a lot of time and effort goes into it. Our goal is to get our film to blu-ray or DVD, get it into film festivals and have a following.

Support City Lights Films in their quest to bring notice to hardcore!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Help Get S.I. Hardcore Indie Film Off the Ground

Staten Island Hardcore - A History

"Staten Island NY, also known as the forgotten borough, has a hardcore punk history that not many know about."

Indie filmmakers Anthony Clemente and Samuel Peralta are looking to gather some of the untold stories of Staten Island's booming punk and hardcore scene from the 80s into the late 90s as they document some of the former and still current rockers reliving their glory days. 

So if you are looking to learn some history, hear great music and stories of your favorite genre, and help contribute to the Staten island music scene, check out this film and help fund it!

More information at -

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Link Drop - Free Music from Diet, Process of Fusion, Freestyle Fam and More!

Ghosts of Eden
Staten Island "Velvet Grunge" rockers Ghosts of Eden recently released a music video for their song "In Motion." Dead Dove Creative filmed and directed the video as the band acted out all the roles in this playful and funny big wheel race. Check it out below!

Freestyle Fam
Staten Island Hip-Hop group just released their new mixtape for free a few days ago, and wow, if it awesome. It's the best work they have done so far! On top of that, the duo of Quest the Wordsmith and Redeemed killed it at Rap Fest 2013 this past weekend. So download the mixtape and check out Quest's closing freestyle.

Process of Fusion
Download POF's first Ep from 2010 for FREE, yup, it's available right now for nothing, so go get it!

Also, be sure to check out Diet's recently released EP. It is one of my favorite of the year! If you like 90s alternative/grunge, mixed with punk, check it out!

Broken Records Magazine
Last but not least, check out the new issue of Broken Records Magazine featuring Shinedown, 311, and David Cook and more!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Face the King Album Review of 'The Sound EP'

Face the King is a New York based indie/alternative band who released The Sound EP on July 13 as a preview of their up and coming full length. 

The EP opens with pulsing drums in a rhythmic almost march with "You, Me, & the Sound." Very catchy and a great opener. The piano and light guitars in the background are killer, and really fill the song up nicely. Musically mixed and layered well. Excellent start.

"All the Pretty Things," starts off very melodically, and has more of an upbeat punkier 30 Seconds to Mars feel about it. I can't put my finger on what exactly I am hearing here to make me feel that way, all I know is that two songs in, I hear two tracks that would be great singles. 

Next up is "The Stage." This is the ballad of the album. I really love what they did musically in this song. The bass work, the light synth, and almost haunting guitar chords before the song picks up more than half way through are beautiful. The dual vocals and harmonies along with the aggressive instrumentals to close out the song are killer.

"The Science Apart," is a mid tempo offering that sounds like what it is, the closing song of the album. It's a solid sendoff that mixes some elements of the previous three tracks into it. It sort of ends the story of the EP, and brings closure to "The Sound."

The Sound EP is a meticulously recorded four song record that plays great start to finish. The singer has a great tonal quality to his voice, and the music is on point the whole way through. My favorite is the superb work on the keys, that really brighten and fill out all of the songs. Each song has a standout moment for the whole band. The first song is the drums, the vocals in the second track, and the guitar work in the last track. 

It is hard to categorize Face the King because they blend so many different sounds together. My guess would be they fall more on the progressive/experimental side. To compare them, I get hints of Moving Mountains, Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars, and vocally Red Jumpsuit you can see, a wide range, but that's just me! Overall great EP, one of the best I've reviewed this year! Can't wait to hear more.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kanye West's 'Yeezus' Review

Guest blog by Howard Yew

Kanye West is an artist known for taking risks and pushing the boundaries of hip-hop. In his latest album Yeezus, Kanye once again proves his ability to draw listeners out of their comfort zone and into his world. The entire album consists of 10 songs and runs for a total of approximately 41 minutes. Right from the start, the listener is subjected to heavy, distorted synths which sound angry and unpredictable as if Kanye is prepping us for the tone of his album.

The instrumentation however, fits well with the subject matter of the album as well as Kanye’s current state of mind. In the tracks “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves,” quite possibly his angriest songs on the album, he expresses his frustration with the criticism he receives from media as well as how blacks are portrayed in the eyes of Middle America.

Aside from speaking on his criticisms, Kanye also criticizes other rappers and challenges them to stop portraying stereotypical images of black males. He bashes artists to create their own style and art as opposed to copying one another. Perhaps Kanye sees himself as the only hip-hop artist pushing the playing field to another level, thus justifying his braggadocio persona and ego as we hear in “I Am A God.”

After the first four songs on the album where Kanye observes the world around him, he spends the majority of the rest of Yeezus reflecting on his own life, mainly his longing for a meaningful relationship. Starting from “Hold My Liquor,” Kanye takes us on a journey of his failed relationships and empty sexcapades up till he finally finds solace in “Bound 2.”

Fans of classic Kanye will find little of what they are used to in Yeezus. Although his raps are nowhere near the days of The College Dropout and Late Registration, the production hooks the listener. Yeezus is experimental compared to the other hip-hop releases of 2013. Listen to it with an open mind in the context of Kanye’s current stage in life. Comparing it to his previous albums will only set you up for disappointment.